Disease threats to sheep associated with intensification of pastoral farming

Ridler, A L (2008) Disease threats to sheep associated with intensification of pastoral farming. NEW ZEALAND VETERINARY JOURNAL, 56 (6). pp. 270-3.

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Abstract

Sheep farming in New Zealand is based on an outdoor grazing system with various systems of grazing management utilised depending on the type of farm and the time of year. In the current grazing systems, periods of high stocking density, sometimes combined with poor husbandry, contribute to infectious diseases such as abortion and salmonellosis. Intensification such as housing or intensive stocking of ewes for lambing, or feedlot systems, are unlikely to become common in sheep production in New Zealand. However, should these be utilised on individual farms there is likely to be in an increase in diseases such as coccidiosis, bacterial diseases of lambs, cryptosporidiosis and mastitis. In any management system involving high stocking densities, careful husbandry is essential to minimise the transmission of infectious diseases.